Leadership Humility Myths Fears & Truths

Leadership Humility Myths: Replace Them For Success

Humility in leadership conjures vivid images in leaders’ minds. The images seem to fall into opposite camps: wimpy indecisiveness or non-arrogant self-confidence. It’s fair to say that if your image of humility in leadership is one of weakness then you are not likely to strive for humility.

On the other hand if you see humility in leadership as the self-confident strength to lead others to shine, you are on your way or almost there. You do not suffer with leadership humility myths.



Leadership Humility Myths: Image is tall check pieces and one bends.

Leadership Humility Myths Fears & Truths. Image by Finn Mac Ginty via Flickr.

Finn Mac Ginty via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Leadership Humility Myths & Fears

What if you want to move from seeing humility in leadership as weakness to embracing its strength? I’ve walked this journey with many leaders. So let’s walk it now.

Change involves owning your own fears for they can either create myths or extend themselves. What common fear-based leadership humility myths stop you from developing the strength of leadership humility?

Fear of being a weak leader.

New leaders, transitional leaders, and long time leaders all know they have strengths and weaknesses. Those who sense their own weaknesses more than their strengths often fear being seen as a weak leader. Will people see them as too nice to lead? From this fear comes the myth that humility in leadership is indecisive weakness.

Fear of being disrespected.

Like dominoes, one fear based myth leads to another. Leaders who believe that leadership humility is indecisive weakness, fear being disrespected as a wimp. They then embrace the myth that being a non-humble leader builds respect. Certainly, there are many real problems that develop under weak leaders including bullying among teams, power struggles, culture of blame, finger pointing, low morale, and even chaos. The same problems can develop with non-humble leaders. I have seen both — over and over and over. Yet strong humble leaders prevent many of these problems and can solve the others with the trust and respect they build.

Fear of entanglement.

This fear is often subconscious and hidden from leaders’ awareness. There are personality types as well as past experiences that drive leaders to avoid true connection with those they lead. They see connection as entanglement and loss of objectivity. They then attach this fear to humility in leadership. They form the false conclusion that humble leaders lose their objectivity and can’t handle tough conversations with employees. This is one of the leadership humility myths. Yet, humility does not cause a loss of objectivity. In fact, it strengthens it. Humility keeps you in learning mode and objectivity comes through knowledge.


Leadership Humility Truths

Humility elevates purpose above the personal.

Leaders’ humility guides all toward the greater goals instead of personal whimsy. It balances the empathy to connect with the objectivity to achieve.

Humility celebrates all talents encouraging all to contribute for success.

Leaders’ humility naturally inspires, for it highlights everyone’s abilities instead of just the leaders’ strengths.

Humility removes the veneer and shows leaders’ greatness.

Humility is transparent. It shows who and what leaders are. Team members trust this authenticity and engage without the distraction of hidden agendas and politics.

Humility is stronger than any yell!

Leaders who check their egos at the door have far greater influence. Humility keeps leaders listening. Humility replaces the ego which feeds conflict — with “we go“ that lessens conflict. This inspires contribution and models ideal teamwork. Don’t get stuck in leadership humility myths. Don’t be a dominating solo type leader demanding teamwork.

Humility smoothes resistance to change and growth.

Humility fosters continuous learning. It allows and encourages everyone to learn from mistakes for the benefit of all. This is a prerequisite to change and growth — the secret to business success. Humility in leadership feeds a culture of learning and flexibility. No one method, nor practice, nor view, nor person is labeled as best. The goal is to listen, perform, learn, and succeed.



Humility is not weakness. It is the strength of giving.




“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” ~ C.S. Lewis



Have you ever worked for or with a humble leader? What was it like?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Leadership: What’s So Hot About Humility Anyway?
Never Confuse Humility With Humiliation

©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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2 Responses to “Leadership Humility Myths Fears & Truths”

  1. […] Leadership Humility TruthsHumility elevates purpose above the personal.Leaders’ humility guides all toward the greater goals instead of personal whimsy. It balances the empathy to connect with the objectivity to achieve.Humility celebrates all talents encouraging all to contribute for success.Leaders’ humility naturally inspires, for it highlights everyone’s abilities instead of just the leaders’ strengths.Humility removes the veneer and shows leaders’ greatness.Humility is transparent. It shows who and what leaders are. Team members trust this authenticity and engage without the distraction of hidden agendas and politics.  […]

  2. […] Leadership Humility TruthsHumility elevates purpose above the personal.Leaders’ humility guides all toward the greater goals instead of personal whimsy. It balances the empathy to connect with the objectivity to achieve.Humility celebrates all talents encouraging all to contribute for success.Leaders’ humility naturally inspires, for it highlights everyone’s abilities instead of just the leaders’ strengths.Humility removes the veneer and shows leaders’ greatness.Humility is transparent. It shows who and what leaders are. Team members trust this authenticity and engage without the distraction of hidden agendas and politics.Humility is stronger than any yell!Leaders who check their egos at the door have far greater influence. Humility keeps leaders listening. Humility replaces the ego which feeds conflict — with “we go“ that lessens conflict. This inspires contribution and models ideal teamwork. Don’t get stuck in leadership humility myths. Don’t be a dominating solo type leader demanding teamwork.  […]

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